Gordon claims first prize in memorial darts trophy

THE Ian Whillis Memorial darts trophy, sponsored by Coors and the Newcastle Beer Company, at Bedlington Station WMC has been won by Gordon Dobey.

He beat Paul Knighton in a close fought final.

Dobey saw off last year’s champion Tony Eccles and Graeme Stoddart to set up a semi-final against Glen Durrant, who had good wins against Micky Luke and Ryan Joyce.

James Foster also had a difficult run in with two tight victories against Arthur Dobey and Gary Robson to give him the chance to tackle Durham’s Knighton who denied John Stephenson and Alan George further progress.

The first semi set the standard with scores of 180, 96, 133, 60 and double 16 to give Durrant the lead with a 13-dart leg.

Then 140, 60, 123, 100 and a 78 checkout put Dobey level in 14 darts.

A ton and 174 shots gave Durrant the lead again in a 20-dart leg.

Dobey hit back in style with 140, 140, 140 and an 81 checkout after 11 darts, then 140 and three tons and a 61 checkout in 214 darts to put him in front.

Durrant came back with a 15-dart leg of 26, 140, 96, 100 and a 139 checkout to take it to the final leg which Dobey took by the scruff of the neck with seven consecutive 60s – 180, 180, 85 scores before taking the tie, checking out on double top in a 15-dart winning leg.

In the second semi, Knighton took the early initiative with scores of 100, 180, 41, 114 and a 66 checkout in 15-darts.

A further 180, two tons, 58 and a 63 checkout put him further ahead.

But 180, 95 and 96 scores reduced the deficit for Foster in a 17-dart game.

But two tons and 104 scores in an 18-dart leg put Knighton three one up.

Foster hit back with two 140s and a 96 checkout in 15 darts.

Scores of 87, 122, 95, 135 and 62 in another 15-dart game made the tie square so the pair threw at the bull for advantage of throw.

Knighton took advantage of throwing first in the final leg with two tons and a 140 scores helping him in 18-darts.

The final between Dobey and Knighton started off a tense affair. Two 140s and a ton helped Dobey to an early lead.

A ton, 140, 140, 107 and double seven by Knighton evened the game up.

Then Dobey took control with two 100s and a 140 checkout, then scores of 180, 100, 140 and 81 made it 3-1.

But two tons and 140 scores cut Dobey’s lead then 100, 99 and 140 brought Knighton level in the best of nine leg final.

Dobey once again took up the challenge 140, 81, 100 and 84 checkout on the bull, giving him the edge once again and he followed up with 140, 85, 140 and checking out on double eight to claim the title and £600 prize.